Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

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This salad is a beautiful appetizer for a spring dinner or as a light lunch. The sweet citrusy flavour from the blood orange combines so nicely with the creamy avocado and crunchy sunflower seeds. These beautiful olives have the perfect amount of saltiness to counter the sweet dressing made of the orange juice and raw honey and the peppery arugula. These bright green olives are a lot less salty than the ones from the grocery store and they truly are my absolute favourite. Once you get started on a container of those bad boys, its really hard to stop. You can usually find them at your local market or at speciality stores. This salad was so easy to put together, and looks beautiful on the plate. If your not watching your dairy intake, pecorino cheese would taste amazing with this!

Heres a little nutrition info: blood oranges are “bloody” from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is reported to have many health benefits as it is a powerful antioxidant (helping slow or prevent cancer cells). Blood oranges also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, and even fiber.

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Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:

• 2-3 blood oranges (sliced and peeled)
• 1 bunch arugula
• 1 avocado (chopped)
• 6-7 olives
• 3 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
• Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
• dairy option:pecorino cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tsp honey
• juice of half an orange
• juice of half a lemon
• 1 tsp finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 tsp garlic finely chopped
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Place all prepared salad ingredients in a large bowl. (If your pumpkin seeds are raw, roast in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes).

2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients besides for olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

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Rosemary Poppy Seed Crackers

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Its a lot easier to crack open a box of crackers and get snacking however, homemade crackers are an impressive fancy treat. These rosemary poppy seed crackers are an incredible addition to your table if you are having guests over. Instead of that predictable bottle of wine you bring to your friends, why not stack these up in a mason jar, or wrap in parchment paper with some twine. Gluten free, Paleo friendly and low carb, these almond and coconut flour crackers are tasty and filling. These crackers really call for a nice dip. I used my homemade hummus, but salsa and guacamole would be killer.

The biggest struggle I faced in making these crackers was pressing out the dough. The lack of gluten made the dough slightly crumbly (adding more water helps) and I couldn’t roll it out with my rolling pin. I left the dough in the fridge overnight which made it much easier to press out. I found my fingers were the best tool for pressing. Wet your fingers with ice cold water and press away until it is as thin as you can get them. If you prefer the crackers a bit softer (more like a bread) then leave the dough on the thicker side. If thats the case then you can also make this into a flatbread or pizza crust. Very versatile, enjoy everyone!
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Ingredients:

•1 1/2 cup almond meal
•1/2 cup coconut flour or all purpose gluten free flour
•1/4 cup nutritional yeast or parmesan (optional)
•2 eggs
•2 tbsp olive or coconut oil (liquid/melted)
•1 tsp sea salt
•2 tbsp dried rosemary
•4 tbsp poppy seeds
•4 tbsp water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line and grease a baking sheet (large or 2 medium) with parchment paper.

2. Combine all ingredients except the water then slowly add the water until you have a firm dough.

3. Place in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

4. Smooth dough onto a baking sheet using a spatula or your hands (dip hands in ice cold water to prevent sticking.)

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. You want them to be a golden brown with crispy edges. Check on them at the 10 minute mark and then bake for longer if necessary. It took the full 15 minutes for mine. I cut mine into squares right from the oven and then let them cool. Once they cooled I broke them into crackers. For a more rustic look, let the crackers cool completely then break apart with your hands. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Carrot Cake Oats

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My mom always loved the top of a carrot muffin. Having been diagnosed with celiac disease over 10 years ago (read more in my about) has left her with gluten free muffins loaded with starches and lots of added sugar. Lots of people think that gluten free is synonymous with healthy. Drop that gluten free cake! It is most likely packed with starchy flours and loads of refined sugar. This carrot cake oatmeal is a fiber filled, tasty alternative to that carrot cake muffin. Plus it is 100% clean, dairy free, refined sugar free and gluten free. I beg you to please make this on the stove top, it makes the world of difference in terms of texture and taste! Bon appétit! Have a beautiful day.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

•1/2 cup certified gluten free large flake oats
•1 cup finely grated carrot (about 2 medium)
•1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
•1 tsp ground cinnamon
•1 tsp chia
•1/4 tsp ground ginger (fresh or dried)
•1/8th tsp ground nutmeg
•pinch of salt
•1 tsp pure vanilla extract
•1/2 tsp lemon juice
•2 tbsp pure maple syrup
•1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish
•1/2 cup berries or raisins
•2 tbsp almonds, walnuts or pecans

Directions:

1. Finely grate 1 cup of grated carrots.

2. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, whisk together the almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a pinch of salt.

3. Stir in the grated carrots and oats. Cook for about 8-9 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mixture has thickened up, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of maple syrup.

4. Top the oatmeal with the nuts, fruit, shredded coconut and remaining maple syrup. Sprinkle with more cinnamon!

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